Reviews for Old Black Fly


Kirkus Reviews 1992 March
``Old black fly's been/buzzin' around...And he's had a very/busy bad day,'' begins this alphabetical litany of misdemeanors (``He frolicked on the Eggs/for the birthday cake./He licked up the Frosting,/ for goodness sake./Shoo fly!/Shoo fly!/Shooo''). Having troubled the entire household and ``lit on the List'' of groceries (all of which turn up elsewhere), the fly ``Zzzz'''s onto a table where he comes to a just end: the baby drops the cake on him. Aylesworth's buoyant, rhythmic verse provides inspiration for a wondrous evolution of Gammell's style. Framing the book in dramatic fly-black endpapers, he intensifies his trademark rainbow colors, laying them on a white ground in vibrant clouds, flinging them in ebullient splatters signifying the mess and confusion in the fly's wake, and counterpointing the impressionistic setting with precisely observed characters and details: an outraged cat, Gramma's wizened face, the hairy, red-eyed culprit. Sheer delight for eyes, ears, and funny-bones. (Picture book. 3+) # Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1992 March #1
Aylesworth and Gammell wing their way through the alphabet on the back of a pesky housefly in this ebullient picture-book romp. On a summer day, old black fly ``bothered the baby,'' ``coughed on the cookies'' and ``drove the dog nearly out of his wits,'' as family members attempt to ``Shoo fly! / Shoo fly! Shooo.'' The persistent pest leaves a messy trail of near disasters until finally meeting up with the wrong end of a swatter. Ayleworth's snappy couplets constitute a waggish presentation of a basic concept. A brightly colored first letter highlights one word on each page that corresponds to the objects and action found in the illustration. Gammell's paintings are exuberant splashes of mayhem--rainbows of splattered hues from which truly memorable characters emerge. His appropriately bug-eyed (and cross-eyed) fly and gap-toothed humans sporting crazy hairdos provide a level of dementia that children will relish. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1992 April
PreS-Gr 3-- A pesky fly turns a household inside out in this rollicking tale. ``He ate on the crust of the A pple pie./He bothered the B aby and made her cry./ Shoo fly! Shoo fly! Shooo.'' This fly is on an alphabetical rampage through the house, leaving destruction in his wake as he flits from the C ookie to the D og to the E ggs to the F rosting, and so on to a final, satisfying ``Swat!'' Aylesworth's funny, rhythmic chant is strong enough to stand alone. Add Gammell's spattery, jumpy illustrations, splashed with color, alive with movement, line, and humor, and what emerges is a book that's sure to become a classic. To be enjoyed at home as a lapbook, to be read aloud with relish at story times, to be chanted again and again and again! --Gail C. Ross, Baltimore County Public Library Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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